Sat + Sun, 09. + 10.07.2016
Day 7 + 8
Waiting for better weather in the Schull Sailing School
Two days of westerly winds well over 20 knots, in gusts well over 40 knots whipped up the sea to four meters today, truly no great conditions to get around Irelands most exposed south-westerly Cape Mizen Head.
On a day off after paddling for longer, my body feels like being run over and myself like being in my small room in a sanatorium to recover. And yes, it does take longer to recover once over fifty! But good for feeling overall well today, I’m ready to go tomorrow.
Mizen Head is where the tidal flow splits. On flooding, the tide is going north and east in both directions. There will be everything but ideal conditions tomorrow to already get around the Head and further on. The nw wind goes down under 20 knots, afternoon around 15 knots. High tide tomorrow is around 10.30 am.
It would be reasonable to paddle from Schull in the lee of the land starting comfortably late morning and stopping already in Barleycove. Or – the tougher way – I start early as usual, arrive at Mizen Head just around slack tide with seas eventually down to 2,6-2,3 m. But then going north, I think I won’t like an exposed 25 km crossing over to Dursey Island against wind and tide and should rather make the detour cutting over Sheep Head and then close to Bere Island. Not sure yet which option I will take.
Besides working online and sleeping a lot, I got taken out both days for breakfast to the lovely Budds Restaurant in Ballydehob by Jim who was so nice to organize me the stay at the Fastnet Marine & Outdoor Ed Centre. Thanks, Jim!
A short stroll around the small lovely town of Schull, presenting myself a pretty colorful Indish glass artist lamp (a perfect souvenir from “Ireland”, which Jim will send to Mick where my car is…), and mingling on the Sunday’s farmers market, gave me at least a bit of “Irish people” feeling on these two days off.
Three more days of headwinds around 15 knots, then the wind will turn to low southerlies and paddling will be easy – at least for a while, as far as the forecast goes! Having regular phone reception here almost everywhere, I can usually check the long-term forecast online on Windguru, but Karel Vissel is as always so nice to also send me his valuable very precise 2-days forecast. Thanks, Karel!